1894 - Modern Games Founded
1896 - I Olympiad - Athens
1900 - II Olympiad - Paris
      - Vignettes of the 1900 Paris Expo
1904 - III Olympiad - St. Louis
1906 - Intercalated Games - Athens
1908 - IV Olympiad - London
1912 - V Olympiad - Stockholm
1913 - Berlin prepares for 1916 games
1914 - 20th Anniversary of Rebirth of Games
1916 - VI Olympiad - Berlin
1920 - VII Olympiad - Antwerp
1924 - VIII Olympiad - Paris
      - Post Cards
1928 - IX Olympiad - Amsterdam
1932 - X Olympiad - Los Angeles
1936 - XI Olympiad - Berlin
1940 - XII Olympiad - Tokyo
      - XII Olympiad - Helsinki
      - New Zealand Centennial Games
1944 - XIII Olympiad - London
      - German POW Games
1948 - XIV Olympiad - London
1952 - XV Olympiad - Helsinki
1956 - XVI Olympiad - Melbourne
      - XVI Olympiad - Stockholm
1960 - XVII Olympiad - Rome

1948 - XIV Olympiad - London

July 29-Aug. 14

Official Poster and Emblem for 1948 Games in London

World War II was barely ended, and much of the world was still in recovery mode. London carried off the Olympics, but austerely. There were few labels issued in connection with the occasion.

2/22/19 - By the way, I just discovered Bob Wilcock's delightful book "A Collector's Guide to the London 1948 Olympic Games." It's filled with eye-candy for the Olympic enthusiast. You can download a document with ordering info HERE.

The following poster stamps and labels were issued for the 1948 Games:

Click on image below to open an enlarged version in a separate window/tab
Click on the DuBois number beneath the image to display technical data about that label.

DuBois listing:

1. "F.F.B." in panel at top; "JEUX OLYMPIQUES" in panel at bottom. Vignette: Olympic rings. 13x20mm, perf 12.5x13.5, red with white texts. (F.F.B. stands for Fédération Française de Boxe = French Federation of Boxing)

#1948-2 and variety of 02a
DuBois listing:

2. Poland Fund Labels: "POLSKI KOMITET OLIMPIJSKI" across top; value, in ZL, at lower left; "1948" at lower right.
Vignette: Olympic rings in middle of label (interlaced as on original Olympic flag)
46x27mm, perf 11; values and colors, as follows:
a. 10ZL, red on tan;
b. 20ZL, dark blue on tan;
c. 20ZL, brown on tan.

11/10/17 - new variety of 02a from eBay seller stampsofdistinction - violet overprint "POLSKI ZWIĄZEK MOTOCYKLOWY" = 'Polish MotorCycle Association'





1964 - XVIII Olympiad - Tokyo
1968 - XIX Olympiad - Mexico City
1972 - XX Olympiad - Munich

1924 - I Winter Games - Chamonix
1928 - II Winter Games - St Moritz
1932 - III Winter Games - Lake Placid
1936 - IV Winter Games - Garmisch-Partenkirchen
1940 - V Winter Games - Sapporo
      - V Winter Games - St Moritz
      - V Winter Games - Garmisch-Partenkirchen
1944 - V Winter Games - Cortina d'Ampezzo
1948 - V Winter Games - St Moritz
1952 - VI Winter Games - Oslo
1956 - VII Winter Games - Cortina d'Ampezzo
1960 - VIII Winter Games - Squaw Valley
1964 - IX Winter Games - Innsbruck
1968 - X Winter Games - Grenoble
1972 - XI Winter Games - Sapporo

      - Workers' Olympics

DuBois listing:

3. U.S. Fund Labels: "U.S.OLYMPIC COMMITTEE LONDON - 1948 GAMES - ST.MORITZ" above. Vignette: same as that of No.17 of "1940 - HELSINKI" 41x28mm, perf 12, each label of one color only:
a) red, b) green, c) blue, d) purple ... each $2.00

3B. Same as No.3 but imperf & without gum ... each $10.00

3C. Same as No.3 but an imperf proof; has wide margins like a die proof and is from a typographic cut distributed for publicity purposes (not engraved like No.3)
Black & umgummmed ... RARE


Sheet Format of Nos. 3a, b, c, & d: same as that of No.17 of "1940 - HELSINKI" except for the texts on the selvage, as follows: Left side: "V OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES ST MORITZ SWITZERLAND JANUARY 30-FEBRUARY 8, 1948" Right side: "GAMES OF THE XIV OLYMPIAD LONDON,ENGLAND JULY 29-AUGUST 14, 1948" Top: "UNITED STATES VICTORY STAMP THE UNITED STATES OLYMPIC COMMITTEE," etc. as on 1940 issue; Bottom: same as on 1940 issue

Autographed Sheets: Dick Green reported the 1948 sheets in Seal News of April 1948 - "Imperforate proofs exist in the issued colors on ledger stock, ungummed, but these have not yet been released as it is planned to have them autographed for sale at a premium for special occasions." Further information on such sheets is solicited from the reader. See No.17 of "1940 - HELSINKI" for information on imperforate autographed sheets of that issue (label No.17/a)

Full sheet of #1948-3Bc

The autographed sheets of these stamps that DuBois mentions above show up on eBay from time to time, and sell at prices dependent on the signer. Charlie Chaplin is worth a lot more than William Beebe.


#1948-5, 5a
and imperf version of 5a

DuBois listing:

5. ISLAND OLYMPIUFORIN 1948 below; printer's imprint below design: WATERLOO & SONS LIMITED, LONDON Vignette: multicolored Olympic rings above a 12x20mm panel depicting a geyser. A double-lined margin around vignette & main text. 20.5x32mm, perf 12.5, blue(except for rings) - $2 each

5a. Like No.5 but brown & overprinted "SPECIMEN" - $16 each

5ax. Like No.5a but imperf.

Issued in sheets of 100, 10x10, with a serial number in top selvage.

6/19/19 - Polish collector Roman Babut asked if I knew what race was depicted on the set of U.S. Fund labels above, and who were the runners. I did not, but with the aid of Google I was able to find out rather easily. The venue is clearly the Los Angeles Olympic Stadium (now called the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum), easily recognized by the distinctive arches. And it makes sense they would have chosen an image from the most recent American Olympics. Then I fed the image to Google with the hint that it was a race from 1932, and back came the photo on the right, and the information that it was the finish of the Men's 800 Meters race. The stamps shows the race near its start, with the runners still in their lanes, but you can compare faces and numbers and see they are the same. The runners, in the order of the finish, are Tommy Hampson - Great Britain, Alex Wilson - Canada, Phil Edwards - Canada, Eddie Genung - United States, Edwin Turner - United States, Chuck Hornbostel - United States, Jack Powell - Great Britain, Séra Martin - France, Otto Peltzer - Germany.

I know, nine runners listed, eight in the photo, but only seven in the image on the stamp. ???

DuBois listing:

4. Matchbox label: "OLYMPIC GAMES Regd No 117174" above, on left; "SOMEO LAKMIDI" on the right. Vignette, in middle: two youths in a boat; below, in a panel: "SAFETY MATCHES" 49x30mm, an imperf matchbox label, multicolored ... Rare

DuBois had not actually seen these labels, and was misinformed about the text - it's "SOMCO LAKKIDI" in the red shield at top right. SOMCO stands for SATTUR ORIGINAL MATCH COMPANY (as is evident from the other labels following). And according to Wikipedia, "Lakkidi or Lakkidi Perur is a small village in Ottapalam Taluk of Palakkad district, Kerala, India"

5/26/18 - As of today, I have accumulated images of twenty-one examples of this label, in eleven distinct varieties, mostly from the efforts of Philippe Pavard, who has been a major contributor to this web site. AT RIGHT are examples of all eleven, and BELOW are key distinctions of each variety. (There are other unique aspects of some of the labels, I have chosen the ones that are easiest to describe)

Types 1 through 7 and 12 all have "SAFETY MATCHES" in red box at bottom
1 - No price, Text at top left is staggered
2 - No price, Text at top left is aligned to left
3 - "PRICE RE 0-03nP." beneath boat at right
4 - "PRICE RE 0-05nP." beneath boat at right
5 - "PRICE RE 0-0-6" beneath boat, water is dark blue and there are no waves
6 - "PRICE RE 0-0-6" beneath boat, water is light blue and there are waves
7 - "PRICE RE 0-0-9" beneath boat
8 - "KRISHNA MATCH FACTORY PAMBADI" in red box at bottom, "PRICE RE.0.0.6" beneath boat at right
9 - "KRISHNA MATCH FACTORY PAMBADI" in red box at bottom, "PRICE" beneath boat at center, "RE.0-0-6" beneath boat at right
10 - "SATTUR ORIGINAL MATCH CO SATTUR" in red box at bottom
11 - "SAFETY MATCHES" in black box at bottom.


6/19/19 - NEW FIND - Image courtesy of Nick Dandoulakis
TYPE 12 - "SAFETY MATCHES" in red box at bottom, no price, NO Regd. No. - Shield at top right diamond-shaped

#1948-6   #1948-7

DuBois listing:

6. In Greek: ΠΥΡΕΙΑ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΟΥ ΜΟΝΟΠΩΛΙΟΥ in panel, across top (Piraeus Greek Monopoly); OΛΥΜΠΙΑ (OLYMPIA) vertical text, on left; ΚΛΑΣΙΣ 1 (Class 1) horizontal text, on right; "ALSING LONDON" at lower left; "MADE IN SWEDEN" on right. Vignette: a runner [wearing loincloth] with a torch, a columned court, with Olympic fire, in the background. 48x32mm, multicolored

7. Like No.6., with "SOLO A.G. WIEN" at lower left. 46x31mm, gray, green blue & yellow

8. Design and text like No.7; "333" in lower right corner. 46x30mm, blue & yellow-brown

The issue dates and direct Olympic connection of these matchbox labels are questionable, but the torch runner is a standard Olympic symbol today, so they have a place here, if a bit tenuous. Note, however, that the scene depicted - a torch runner in ancient Greece - is nonsense. The torch and relay were invented for the 1936 Games - READ MORE HERE.

11/20/17 - I just found this image of a cover mailed in 1962 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the revival of the Olympic Games, with the same image, which certainly validates the direct Olympic connection.

Color varieties of #6:

As regards their date of production (from JSTOR):

In 1926 the Greek representative of Alsing, acting on its behalf and on behalf of the Swedish Match Company, offered to undertake the exclusive supply of matches to the Greek Government for a period of twenty years, the Government by law having a monopoly of the right to manufacture, import and sell matches in Greece.

This contract was subsequently extended to 1954, when it expired.

So these labels could have been produced any time during the period 1926 to 1954. Indeed the design is somewhat archaic for 1948. I found one source on the www that dates them to 1903-1910, though that is prior to the contract mentioned above, therefore questionable.

Format & color varieties of #6
Note that many of these have the text ALSING LONDON printed vertically down the left edge, and MADE IN SWEDEN vertically down the right edge.

Format & color varieties of #6:

New version of #6:
Vertical format, blank background, torch runner with figleaf

(All images for 1948-6 thru 8 are courtesy of Philippe Pavard)

2/15/2022 - a viewer (whose name I am sorry to say I have lost), wrote me a while ago to say that the image on the matchboxes above was based on this famous photo of the first Olympic torch relay in 1936. I was sceptical, as while there are similarities, there are also significant differences: the height of the torch, which leg of the runner is on the ground, etc. But I looked around on the www, and found THIS PAGE, which establishes a clear connection. The runner was Constantin Kondylis, and his brother tells the story, saying that the matchboxes were issued in 1936, specifically to commemorate the event. Amazing!

I have added a reference on the 1936 page of this site.


#1948-9 to 11
DuBois listing:

9. "OLYMPIA" above; "SOLO" at lower left; "B.F.I." at lower right. Vignette: a female swimmer about to dive, Olympic rings below her feet (outside 30x41 mm design panel) 30x47mm, imperf, figure is tan & brown, bathing suit & cap are shaded light blue, texts are white, background & rings are dark blue

10. Like No.9 but size is 32x54mm

11. Like No.9 but "K.S.I." instead of "B.F.I."

Note: No.9 is also listed as No.53 at the "1936 - BERLIN" section. Ernest Trory issued a booklet covering the 1936 labels which states:

"There were also a number of matchbox labels showing a swimmer poised for the start of the race with the word 'Olympia' at the top and either 'SOLO - K.S.I.' or 'SOLO - B.F.I." at the bottom. Many varieties exist. Rampacher lists these as having been produced in 1948 but Pourrat says they are 1936."

#1948-9 to 11

As Trory wrote, there are many varieties of the OLYMPIA diver labels. Twelve are shown at left. Their relative sizes are accurate.

Matchbox labels, DuBois numbers 1936-53 a to c, and 1948-9 to 11: All labels have same basic format and colors, with OLYMPIA at top, female swimmer poised for a dive in middle, Olympic rings at bottom. Dubois lists five varieties, and says there are many more. I have seen twelve distinct varieties so far, which can be divided into seven basic types, as follows:

Type 1 - 57 at top left corner, blank at bottom.
-   Label 1 - DuBois label 1936-53a

Type 2 - 250 at top left corner, blank at bottom.
-   Label 2 - DuBois label 1936-53b

Type 3 - B.F.I. at bottom right, blank at bottom left.
-   Label 3 - not in DuBois

Type 4 - K.S.I. at bottom right, blank at bottom left.
-   Label 4 - not in DuBois

Type 5 - SOLO at bottom left, B.F.I. at bottom right.
-   Label 5 - DuBois label 1936-53 and 1948-9
-   Label 6 - not in DuBois; like label 5, but a bit
            smaller, and the bottom right Olympic ring is lower.
-   Label 7 - not in DuBois; like label 6, but slightly larger.
-   Label 8 - DuBois label 1948-10

Type 6 - SOLO at bottom left, K.S.I. at bottom right.
-   Label 9 - DuBois label 1948-11
-   Label 10 - not in DuBois; like label 9, but same size as label 8

Type 7 - Large label for bulk package, price per 10 boxes
        in German at bottom left and in Czech at bottom right.

-   Label 11 - "57" at top left, not in DuBois
-   Label 12 - "250" at top left, not in DuBois

Philippe Pavard supplied most of these images. Thanks also to Bob Stockel and David Feldman auctions.

The date of issue of labels 1948-12 and 13 is uncertain. The use of "United States" and "U.S." instead of "American" in the texts indicate that they were issued after 1940. The rings on both labels are not in their usual geometric relationship to each other. No.12 may be a re-drawing of shield No.7 that is listed at the "1936 - Garmisch-Partenkirchen" section.

12. "UNITED STATES OLYMPIC FUND" above a large shield. 10.2x13.6cm (shield portion, 10.2x14.6cm, including upper text), imperf, red & blue

CLICK HERE to view a page that lists all the Olympic decals that depict a US Olympic shield.


13. "back the U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM FUND" above shield; "LIFE" in a 12x6mm panel, "SPONSORED BY" & emblem of U.S. Jr. Chamber of Commerce, all below shield. 57x53mm shield, 89x115mm (overall label), design portion measures 64x108mm, red & blue, imperf

DuBois listing:

14. A matchbox label: "FIVE RINGS" above; "SAFETY MATCHES IMPREGNATED MADE IN JAPAN" below. Vignette: multicolored Olympic rings, interlaced as on official Olympic flag. 53.5x33mm, imperf, text is black except for "IMPREGNATED" which is red, background is yellow, a thin, red border-line around edge


Fetes de St Louis pour le Sport - 1946?


Not quite an Olympic label, but note the five rings at bottom - not in the official configuration, but what else would they mean? .
I dated it based on other stamps on the page that holds it,
but I've lost that image(!) - Can anyone confirm?


(Olympic rings)
1948 M.O.B. OLYMPIA 20 FILLER (red)
17x21 mm

Hungarian Olympic Committee (Hungarian: Magyar Olimpiai Bizottság, MOB) is the National Olympic Committee representing Hungary.


Design 77x100, White panel 47x19, "OLYMPIC" 43mm



decal - found on the www - stats unknown

April 28-31, May 1, 1948

CLICK HERE to view a page that lists all the Olympic decals that depict a US Olympic shield.




D.N.D. = Delegación Nacional de Deportes = National Delegation of Sports, formed in 1941 to promote health and sports in Spain.

I don't see how this can date from earlier than 1945, i.e. post-WWII, so I have placed it tentatively on this page.
Can anyone confirm that?

8/9/16 - Philippe Pavard pointed out this page at (click on QUESTIONS tab) where the seller says "Year final 1940 decade or initial 1950 decade" so that agrees with my guess.

11/30/17 - Some poking around via Google led me to images of other denominations, and one with a 1946 overprint, so that supports dating this to the preparations for the 1948 Games.


Denmark Poster Stamp
Vignette: Olympic torch runner

Image: Constantine Kondyllis carries the Olympic Torch over the first part of the 3000km stretch from Olympia to Berlin for the start of the 1936 Olympic Games. The torch and relay were invented for the 1936 Games - READ MORE HERE.

The same image on a trading card of the era.

New finds - 12/20/16



Matchbox labels.



(Dating tentative)

New find - 11/09/17


Luggage label

Black lettering on red and white striped label
In English, French, and Spanish
At top: "Country of Origin"
In middle: "N30 - XIV OLYMPIAD - LONDON 1948"
At bottom: "Name - Station"

Official luggage label for Olympic athletes at the 1948 Games

6/19/19 - 2 more examples, with different numbers at top right, one is a sticker/label, the other is a tag!


New find - 02/07/18


Lottery ticket, Czechoslovakia, 1947
"State Lottery, to raise funds for the 1948 Olympics in London"

As I say elsewhere, I regard lottery tickets as peripheral to this collection - they are not labels or stamps or stickers. But this one is attractive, it has the Olympic rings, etc. so I offer it as something one might choose to include.

New find - 11/13/18

Size unknown

Torch Runner, Red and Black lettering on orange label

New find - 02/01/19
LONDON - 1948
Special Edition

93x136mm = 4-2/3 x 5-1/3 inches (Booklet)
28x39mm = 1-1/8 x 1-9/16 inches (Each transfer)

Tiny booklet of "SILSHINE TRANSFERS"
originally contained 36 transfers, 22 remain.
(That coin is a US quarter)

3/31/19 - Matchbox "skillets" - Pakistan

"OLYMPIC" and rings

1948-x11, x12, x13

These are very borderline items for this catalog, since they are matchbox "skillets," i.e., the design is printed on the cardboard, so they cannot be collected as a label, AND their date is unknown. But 1948 was the first year that Pakistan participated in the Olympic Games, so this seems a fitting place to put them.

6/15/2020 - Look what showed up on eBay:

1948 wrapper for Helms Olympic Bread
41cm x 53cm = 16 in x 21 in

This was sold by a collector in England, and the label itself tells the story of how it got way over there. Helms succeeded in having his bread declared the official training table bread of the Games for 1932, 1936, and 1948, so the load of bread this once held was flown to London to feed American athletes there in 1948!

(Philippe chided me for calling this a "label" at first, so I have changed "label" to "wrapper" - yes, it's much too large for any album, but I would want one if I still collected anything but images!)


Finally, I have to mention the Paul Helms, owner of Helms Bakery, was an avid stamps collector who issued a set of 48 poster stamps on patriotic themes, depicting historic US flags, presidential autographs, and coins. None has an Olympic theme.

Helms poster stamps

Great Britain issued4 postage stamps for the 1948 Olympics.
Bahrain, Kuwait, Tangier, Morocco, and Muscat issued overprinted versions of those 4 stamps.

Korea issued two stamps


I am indebted to Robert J DuBois for allowing me to use images and information from his Catalog of Olympic Labels on these web pages.

All text and images are the property of the author. Any errors are his.
REWARD! If you have better or additional information about anything shown or discussed here, please email the author.
Email address at bottom of page. Full credit gladly given - your name, ebay ID, web site...


All text Copyright © 2013, William M. Senkus

Send feedback to the author: CLICK HERE

Created -- 07/27/2013
Revised -- 02/15/2022